Singapore Closing Gender Wage Gap



Singapore has accomplished significant gender wage gap reductions, according to the latest MOM data. However, holes remain. Even though things have changed, women still earn less than males for the same work.

In 2018, Singapore had a gender wage difference of 16.3%. The figure was 14.3% in 2023. It was slightly more favourable than the previous year.

The OECD’s mean salary inequality between men and women stood at 12.1% in 2022. In Singapore, the gender pay disparity is marginally greater than that. However, Singapore performs better than countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The government attributed the pay gap primarily to differences in employment, since males were more likely to hold higher-paying positions.

However, figures from MOM also indicated that the gender pay disparity decreased from 2018 to 2023. 

This was because more women were hired in professional, managerial, executive, and technical (PMET) jobs. 75% of PMET jobs were held by women in 2023, 8.8 percentage points more than in 2018.

Related link: Gender Wage Gap In South Korea Slowly Closing

Men and women earn different amounts due to industry, work hours, and human capital considerations including age and education. These factors reduced Singapore’s gender pay gap to 6% in 2023 from 6.7% in 2018, according to The Straits Times.

Even with these improvements, there are still problems. The persistent pay gap is caused by things like career breaks, caring for others, and characteristics of jobs that aren’t tracked. 

“Fundamentally, pay must be a function of experience, skills, performance and the value an individual can bring to the job – factors that can be attributed to time spent in the workforce,” said Samual Sobrielo, Deputy Director for Professional Practices and Community at the Institute for Human Resource Professionals. He talked about how career breaks affect women’s ability to earn money.

“Because women are more likely to be the main carers, they may need to take breaks from work, which literally means “delaying” their work experience, which could affect their pay.”

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